Education in the First State
June 30, 2021
Every Delaware public school student now has digital access to books
With schools facing the challenge of unfinished learning due to the pandemic, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) is providing access to online books to every K-12 student in the state. Students can use their school credentials to read required and recreational digital books in the OverDrive Education Sora student reading app. Students also now have seamless access to age-appropriate popular ebooks and audiobooks from the Delaware Libraries’ OverDrive digital collection.
The DDOE invested federal Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to provide students with access to educational and popular digital books that will be available to schools and their 144,000 students. The digital collection is available for students to borrow and read on any device inside the classroom, at home and anywhere 24/7. Families will receive their sign-on credentials through their students' schools.
“We are excited all public school students in Delaware will have the opportunity this summer to immerse themselves in literacy,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.
Said State Librarian Annie Norman, “Delaware Libraries are excited to partner with the Department of Education to share seamless year-round access to eBooks for children and youth.”
Despite a disrupted year in the classroom, the DDOE focused on shifting the narrative from learning loss to unfinished teaching and learning, and from remediation to acceleration to promote action grounded in a growth mindset. As such, the DDOE committed to seeing that all Delaware public schools’ students and staff can access resources to support learning acceleration. The DDOE also partnered with community-based organizations to encourage use of the OverDrive Education reading activities throughout the summer and extended learning. Regardless of where students are, they are receiving high-quality educational services and opportunities to learn, 24/7.
2021-22 District/Charter Teachers of the Year named
2010 National Teacher of the Year Sarah Brown Wessling leads Delaware's 2022 district and charter teachers of the year in a professional learning workshop. The teachers are working on developing their messages (more pics).

Twenty Delaware teachers have been nominated to be named Delaware’s 2022 State Teacher of the Year.
Selected from among the almost 10,000 public school teachers in the state, the candidates were nominated by their districts or the Delaware Charter School Network because of their ability to inspire students with a love of learning, demonstration of professional traits and devotion to teaching. Already leaders among the colleagues in their buildings, each now has assumed a role representing educators in their districts or the charter network. In October, one will take over the state title from 2021 Delaware Teacher of the Year Kimberly Stock, an English language arts and English learner teacher from the Red Clay Consolidated School District.
The 2022 District/Charter Teachers of the Year are:
Appoquinimink: Amanda Binkley of Odessa High (engineering and computer science)
Brandywine: Jahsha Tabron of Brandywine High (special education)
Caesar Rodney: Karine Scott of Simpson Elementary (physical education)
Cape Henlopen: Maura Johnson of Shields Elementary (third grade)
Capital: Morgan Jewell of Hartly Elementary (kindergarten)
Charter Network: Diana Magaña of Las Américas ASPIRA Academy (third grade Spanish immersion)
Christina: Carla Probst of Downes Elementary (fourth grade)
Colonial: Robert Poore of Southern Elementary (physical education)
Delmar: Sonja Warner of Delmar High (mathematics)
Indian River: Haley Mears of East Millsboro Elementary (special education)
Lake Forest: Clarence ‘Clay’ F. Beauchamp II of Lake Forest South Elementary (kindergarten)
Laurel: Jessica Pajda of Laurel High (social studies)
Milford: Sarah Simon of Morris Early Childhood Center (kindergarten)
New Castle County Vo-Tech: Dustin Craighton of St. Georges Technical High (science)
POLYTECH: Debra Castille-Hall of POLYTECH High (English)
Red Clay Consolidated: Matthew Marion of Linden Hill Elementary (music)
Seaford: Melissa Pinkerton of Seaford High (English)
Smyrna: Lauren Mohamed of Sunnyside Elementary (music)
Sussex Tech: Stephanie Pegelow of Sussex Technical High (English)
Woodbridge: Kira Wagar of Woodbridge High (English)
Free meals for children available this summer
Children can access nutritious meals this summer thanks to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). SFSP is a federally-funded program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by states. The program allows Delaware SFSP Sponsors (schools and non-profit entities) to provide free meals to children ages 18 and younger during the summer months when schools are not typically in session.
Through SFSP, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) is able ensure children can receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. All meals meet federal nutrition guidelines and are free of charge.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, USDA allowed DDOE to apply for waivers to use SFSP funds all year long. From March 2020 to April 2021, Delaware SFSP sponsors served over 18 million SFSP-funded meals and snacks to children. DDOE adopted all possible waivers offered by USDA to reach as many children as possible while schools were closed or operating at limited capacity.
To find current SFSP meal locations available this summer, students and families can call 2-1-1 or text "food" or "comida" to 877-877. Online resources include:
Delaware ESSER III Plan submitted to U.S. Ed, available online
The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) recently submitted its American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding plan to the U.S. Department of Education. The Delaware ESSER III Plan - submitted on Monday, June 14 - describes how DDOE is working with districts and charters to meet the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of students due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. DDOE, districts and charter schools are required to develop strategic ESSER III plans that follow specific federal spending guidelines. Plans must be acted upon with urgency and with priority given to students who have experienced the greatest disruptions in learning due to the pandemic.

To ensure the needs of students and communities were best reflected in state and local ESSER plans, DDOE engaged with and compiled feedback for the plan from students, parents, educators and stakeholders across the state. Feedback was discussed in May at a conversation with the secretary and deputy secretary, during which the public was again given the opportunity to share feedback before the state plan was finalized. 

Federal ESSER funding addresses the impact of COVID-19 on pre-k through grade 12 education. In addition to being used at the state level, ESSER funding is distributed to districts and charter schools to support learning as well as meet the social emotional needs of students, educators, and families across the state.

During 2020 and 2021, DDOE received ESSER funding authorized under three different stimulus bills, commonly known as ESSER I, II and III. Delaware received $410,733,965 in ESSER III funding. Passed on March 11, 2021, ARP ESSER III is the largest amount of emergency ESSER funding given to public education.
#DelawareDelivers highlights curriculum success stories
DDOE has developed new resources to support the use and understanding of high-quality instructional materials (HQIMs) as well as help promote awareness of HQIM-related work happening in districts and charter schools across the state.
Available on Digital Delaware, the new Delaware Delivers resources include curriculum case studies from Cape Henlopen and Seaford school districts detailing how they use HQIM to improve student outcomes. The site also offers a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) Tier 1 Planning Guide for districts and charters to use as they begin implementing the MTSS framework, a HQIM Overview detailing the impact of high-quality materials and why Delaware is so invested in this work, and more. Check the site often for more resource postings, including an upcoming feature on Brandywine School District!
Additionally, educators and educational stakeholders are encouraged to use #DelawareDelivers to share stories of high-quality instruction already underway in Delaware classrooms. Check out current posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about Delaware Delivers and using HQIMs at
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